Tobacco Policy FAQ

Is any tobacco/smoking allowed in residence halls?
No.

Does this policy apply to city owned streets, sidewalks and right–of-ways?  
Vincennes University does not have jurisdiction over the use of city owned streets, sidewalks and right-of-ways in regard to tobacco-related activities. However, please note that many streets and adjacent sidewalks on the campus are university property. To avoid confusion, those wishing to use tobacco should utilize the designated tobacco areas or move to a site that is clearly not university property.

Can I use tobacco in my personal car?
Parking lots owned by the university are included in the ban, however, there will be no effort to enforce the ban in private vehicles located on university property as long as users make a reasonable effort to contain smoke and tobacco related materials or waste inside the vehicle (e.g., keeping windows closed, not throwing cigarette remnants on ground).

Will the Vincennes University Police Department be responsible for enforcing the tobacco policy?
No. All university employees and students have a role of responsibility in the enforcement of the policy.

How will the new policy be enforced?
The policy is in place to promote a healthy environment in which to work, study, and live. The enforcement of this policy will depend upon the cooperation of all faculty, staff, and students not only to comply with this policy but also to encourage others to also comply. Accordingly, tobacco users are expected to voluntarily comply with the policy.

Anyone who observes a possible violation may courteously and without confrontation inform the individual of the tobacco policy and attempt to offer an information card which outlines the tobacco-free campus policy. Those who suspect another is violating the policy may report it to the appropriate unit for possible disciplinary action

If the person is an employee and that person continues to use tobacco products in a prohibited area, report the incident. On the Vincennes Campus, contact the Office of Human Resource (888-5848); if the person is a student, report him or her to the Dean of Students (888-4301). If on the VUJC campus, please contact the Office of the Dean at 812-482-3030 or Director of Student Services (812) 482-3030. 

What are the consequences for violating the policy?
Great efforts will be made to ensure faculty, staff and students are aware of the policy. Individuals who knowingly violate the policy will be referred to the appropriate campus administrative unit for disciplinary action.

How do I tell visitors about our tobacco policy?
You may simply state, "For the health of our visitors, students and employees, tobacco is not allowed on our campus except at designated areas."
General tips for communicating with visitors?  

Faculty and staff members courteously and tactfully approach the person and calmly explain the tobacco policy at Vincennes University. “For the health and safety of our visitors, students and employees, VU has designated smoking areas and they are located …. List.”

What happens if a visitor violates the tobacco policy?
We expect visitors to the campus to comply with campus policy. You may inform a visitor of the policy and its importance to the campus. Reports of violations by visitors may be made to the Office of the Dean of Students.

As an employee, do I have to quit using tobacco?
No, the university cannot mandate that you quit using tobacco, but you cannot use tobacco on university property except in designated areas. If you are interested in quitting, a number of resources are available to help you quit, including:
  • University cessation classes (888-5848, Human Resources
  • Good Samaritan Hospital Respiratory Clinic (882-5220)
  • Indiana Tobacco Quitline which is free to all Indiana residents. (1-800-QUIT NOW)
  • Request a Quit Packet at www.indianaquitline.net
  • The National Cancer Institute has a toll-free quitline in English and Spanish. The toll-free number is 1-877-44U-QUIT (7848) and it is available Monday-Friday, 9-4:30, local time
  • Quitnet offers a way to devise your own quit plan, forums where you can communicate with others and expert advice. Go to www.quitnet.com and click on "Get Started Now" in box on right. They also have information in Spanish and an online chat area where quitnet members can go "when you need help right now."
  • There’s a great site especially for college students at http://www.tobaccofreeu.org/
  • The American Lung Association, whose Web site is in both English and Spanish, has an online smoking cessation program called "Freedom from Smoking" that can be accessed by going to http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/how-to-quit/freedom-from-smoking/. The site also has great information on steps to take when you’re planning to quit. If you would like to use printed guides or attend smoking cessation sessions, contact the local office of the American Lung Association at (317) 573-3900.
  • The Center for Disease Control Web site, in both English and Spanish, has educational information and information on how to quit. Go to http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco
  • Women who are pregnant and quit smoking are more likely to go full-term and give their babies more oxygen and a chance to have good lung function and normal birth weight. After birth, smoking cessation means that you lower the baby’s chances of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and lung-related infections. If you are looking  for specific information about pregnancy and smoking, go to http://www.legacyforhealth.org/, http://www.helppregnantsmokersquit.org or call toll-free 1-866-66-START (78278)
  • Tobacco Free Nurses (tobaccofreenurses.org)
  • Your personal primary care physician can also assist you in quitting

What resources are available to help those who are struggling with this change and would like counseling?
Employees have access to the Health Office (812-888-4277) or with counseling needs should call the Counseling Center (812-888-4374) for a referral.

What benefits are available through the university health care provider?
Please check the Anthem web site: www.anthem.com/home-providers.html for information on health benefits.

Does the policy affect employees at facilities off the Vincennes campus?
The policy applies to Vincennes University properties including vehicles.

Can university vehicles be used to travel off of university property to go on break and smoke off campus?
University vehicles are to be used for business purposes only; using a university vehicle solely for the purpose of going off campus to smoke without a legitimate business purpose is prohibited.

Isn’t this a violation of my civil rights?
No. The Trustees of Vincennes University have the authority to govern the use of university property and regulate its use.

How should managers/supervisors talk to employees about the policy?
It is recommended that managers/supervisors inform all employees of this policy both in writing and in person.

What type of discipline will be used if someone violates this policy?
Employees who engage in knowing repeated violations of the policy will be addressed through a meeting with their manager/supervisor. The review meeting might include an overview of the policy, a verbal warning or a written reprimand. 

Is employee training on the tobacco campus policy and implementation available?
Yes. Training sessions are currently being scheduled. 

What resources are available to assist in the transition?
Vincennes University understands that change can be difficult. Resources are available to assist in the transition. Vincennes University offers "Quit Kits" at various locations on campus and extensive list of resources such as quitlines, smoking cessation programs in the community, etc. Please contact the health office or human resources for more information.
Thank you for your support!